British government officials have uncovered billions of pounds of assets that Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and his regime have deposited in London banks and will immediately seek to freeze them within days.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that the UK Treasury has identified assets including billions of pounds in bank accounts, commercial property and a £10-million mansion in London – all traced to Gaddafi.
The first priority is to get British nationals out of Libya,” a government official told the paper. “But then we are ready to move in on Gaddafi's assets, the work is under way. This is definitely on the radar at the highest levels.
Switzerland has already elected to freeze Gaddafi’s assets there.
While many hundreds of British citizens have safely departed Libya (some of whom were evacuated by military aircraft), there are believed to be hundreds more still stranded in the extremely dangerous country, including oilfield employees trapped in remote, isolated desert locales.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to return to Britain from the Persian Gulf .He has already apologized for the government’s ineffective, sluggish evacuation plans.
Cameron has reportedly reprimanded Foreign Secretary William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, and Liam Fox, the Defense Secretary, for their management of the crisis. Hague himself has apparently scolded his underlings and some government seats are expected to be reshuffled once the turmoil is finished.
Meanwhile, Libya descends into chaos and the likelihood of a bloody civil war. Untold thousands have already died in sectarian violence, amidst unconfirmed reports of mercenaries indiscriminately shooting and killing protesters.
International leaders are now likely to find peaceful ways to remove Gaddafi from power.
The United Nations will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the Libyan crisis.